Wider Perspectives Limited (WPL), a company specializing in human capital development and business processes consulting, has announced its commitment to mentor and support 50 small business owners in Bayelsa State. The initiative aims to elevate these businesses to international standards, enabling them to access global support and financing through best practices.
The announcement was made during a panel session on ‘Women in Business: Challenges and Prospects’ held in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State. This session was part of a broader forum focusing on ‘Exploring Opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) with a Focus on Women-led Businesses.’ The event was organized by WPL in collaboration with the Bayelsa State Government, represented by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Investment (MTII), and the Yenagoa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (YECCIMA).
Edughom Hanson, the Managing Director of Wider Perspectives, shared the firm’s commitment to nurturing and developing SMEs in Bayelsa State. This support will be provided through the WPL Business Acceleration Program, which will be offered free of charge to the selected SMEs.
The panel discussion, which included prominent figures such as Funmilayo Arowoogun (National President, NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women), Achilam Chioma Fidel (Head of Gender, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment), and Faith Opene (Commissioner, Ministry of Women, Children Affairs, Empowerment & Social Development, Bayelsa State), emphasized the need for women-led businesses to access finance, technology, digital skills, and markets. It also highlighted the importance of addressing constraints faced by women in business, such as limited access to finance and non-inclusion in family-owned businesses.
Key recommendations from the panel included the need for financial institutions to create tailored programs for women-led businesses, promote women’s ownership of assets like land and buildings, and enact laws granting women inheritance rights. The panel also called for increased grant provision through technical and financial assistance.
The commitment to support 50 SMEs in Bayelsa State aligns with WPL’s mission to promote and support SMEs, particularly those led by women. The forum provided a platform for SMEs to engage, network, share information, promote their brands, and connect with potential buyers.
The WPL Business Acceleration Program will play a vital role in nurturing these SMEs and helping them thrive in the competitive business landscape. It represents a step towards empowering local entrepreneurs and driving economic growth in Bayelsa State.